Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in smaller particles in the air can infect people, which means it can be spread airborne, and are calling for the World Health Organization (WHO) to revise recommendations, the New York Times (NYT) reported on July 4.
The WHO has said that COVID-19 spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with the virus coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal soon, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said.
Whether carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, COVID-19 is borne through the air and can infect people when inhaled, the scientists said.
However, the health agency said the evidence for the virus being airborne was not convincing, according to American-based newspaper.
“Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead of infection prevention and control, was quoted as saying by the NYT.